Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family members. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody yelling your name? Car noises can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing assessment is the first thing you need to do. For those who use hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if you can. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s important to decrease other distractions when driving. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. Before driving, if you are worried that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
If there are times while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to people who have auditory issues. A service dog can be trained to alert you to hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. Adjust yourself to visual clues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people close to you need to be aware of it. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can signal a serious issue. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. When you bring your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Address your hearing loss
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, get your hearing examined annually. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.